Before & After: This Amazing Little Stick Helped Bring My Cast Iron Skillet Back from the Brink

updated Oct 22, 2021
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Credit: Ashley Poskin

You know when you’re at the store, and you see a nonstick skillet on sale for, like, $19.99 so you buy it, thinking “What a great deal!” only to toss it a year later because it’s no longer nonstick and the flakes coming off the inside seem hazardous to your health? We’d had enough of that in our house, so we decided to make a change.

We did the research and found which skillet was best for us: We ended up with a 12-Inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet and things were going well. We ate a lot of bacon (all in the name of getting a good season on our new pan), and were very careful to only use a minimal amount of dish soap on it. We’ve had it about a year now, and we still love it, but cleaning it can be a
chore, so sometimes it gets neglected. The last time I made a big batch of scrambled eggs, I left the pan for my husband to clean — at this point he was pretty much the only one that cleaned the pan because we have a pretty good system of “I cook, you clean” — but apparently he’d had enough. So there the pan sat. Dirty. For days. Waiting to be scraped with the chainmail scrubber.

My husband had engaged in a war he wouldn’t win. And he didn’t. But in the end, I didn’t either because our neglected pan suffered. I really don’t know what happened. Water was involved, some rust happened? All I know is that it needed some love. I took to Instagram to share my experience.

With salt

I cleaned it with salt and a potato and got it looking alright, but there were still some spots where the seasoning needed to be built up, so I was very interested when a friend recommended I try the ​Crisbee Stik​. She and her husband are always cooking delicious foods, so I completely trusted her recommendation and ordered one (even though it looked like a stick of deodorant!). Once I actually started reading about it, I was even more intrigued. For starters, it’s family-made in the United States. It’s a proprietary blend of local beeswax, soybean oil, and sustainable palm oil, which work together to give your cast iron a super-slick finish. It’s intended to be used daily, seasoning your pan after each use, but the initial seasoning takes just a bit more effort.

Once the Crisbee Stik arrived, I got right to business. I followed the directions on the back and heated my cast iron pan in a 200°F oven for 30 minutes, then lightly applied the seasoning and wiped off any excess. Next, I cranked up the heat to 400°F and placed the pan back in the oven, upside down, for one hour. After an hour, I turned the oven off and let the pan cool completely. I repeated the process two more times, and by the end, the pan looked even better than it had before the war of the scrambled eggs.

Credit: Ashley Poskin

We’ve been using the Stik for just over two weeks and I can already see a huge difference. Previously, we would clean the pan with water and maybe some coarse salt if needed, then heat it on the stovetop, pour a little bit of oil in, and wipe the excess with a paper towel. Now, daily maintenance is exactly the same — we’ve just swapped the oil for the Crisbee Stik — but cleaning the pan is SO much easier because nothing sticks! And if it does, it seems to come off so much easier than before, which means I don’t even mind cleaning it these days.

One thing I was interested to find out was if our food would taste any different because of the Crisbee Stik. The smell, once you use it, is very specific; it’s sort of homey-cozy-cabin, but also sort of smells like hot glue? Once you use it you’ll understand, but I’m happy to report that everything we’ve made so far tastes exactly how we expected it to taste. Whew!

I feel like the Crisbee Stik saved our rocky relationship with cast iron — a relationship that was, 100 percent, worth saving. My pan isn’t the prettiest, probably not quite seasoned to perfection yet, but it’s on its way! I sincerely recommend this product if you’re sort-of-kind-of on the outs with your cast iron, or if you haven’t even taken the leap yet because you’re kind of afraid to commit to it — or even if you have a fantastic relationship! Cast iron, in my very humble opinion, makes everything taste better — not to mention it’s keeping us from depositing a good number of nonstick pans into the landfill over the course of our lifetime.

What do you use to season your cast iron pans? Tell us in the comments below.